The Georgia Tech basketball team will get back senior guard Tadric Jackson after a three-game suspension as they search for their third straight win. The Jackets are coming off back-to-back wins defeating Bethune Cookman and Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).
The Jackets on Friday will look for their third win of the season against the North Texas Mean Green. The Mean Green enter Friday’s late afternoon affair with a 3-2 record and are coming off an 86-74 win against the Rogers State Bobcats, a member of Division II’s Heartland Conference. The Mean Green also opened their season with a win over Division III’s Eureka College. Their lone D1 victory this year came against Bethune Cookman.
The Mean Green have two similar opponents to the Jackets, those being Bethune Cookman as mentioned above and UTRGV respectively. The Mean Green took care of Bethune Cookman defeating them 90-78 but fell to the Vaqueros 75-63.
So far this season, the Mean Green are averaging 85.6 points per game while allowing 75.6 points on average. Sophomore guard Roosevelt Smart is North Texas’s leading scorer so far through five games but hasn’t been consistent. While he does have three games of 21, 22, and 26-point performances, his other two games he finished with five and nine points. Both of those games ended up as North Texas losses as well.
Sophomore guard Ryan Woolridge will be another player to keep eyes on Friday afternoon. The 6-foot-3 guard has averaged 16 points per game this year. Unlike Smart, Wooldridge has been consistent throughout this season, scoring double-digits in all five of the Mean Green’s games. He has yet to top the 20-point plateau this season.
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While the Mean Green are a rather strong shooting team from the field, shooting at 46.9% clip, they struggle from the charity stripe and from beyond the arch. At the line, the Mean Green has shot 67.4% and are shooting at 32.7% from beyond the arch.
The Jackets are coming off their best game of the season, defeating UTGRV. The Jackets looked more like themselves defensively, keeping a high scoring Vaqueros offense to just 68 points. Grad transfer Brandon Alston had a fantastic game, scoring 20 points while junior forward Abdoulaye Gueye had 13 points of his own.
Despite scoring 78 points in their win over UTGRV, the Jackets are still one of the worst offensive teams in the country early on this season. Through three games, they’re averaging 67.7 points per game which ranks 301st in the country. The 64.7 points per game that they are allowing is among the best in the country, ranking 57th.
Wednesday’s win over UTGRV had a ton of great signs for the Jackets including the fact that the Jackets had their strongest offensive performance despite Ben Lammers having his “worst” game of the season. The senior big man scored just 14 points against UTGRV while coming down with seven rebounds.
The Jackets offense will receive a boost Friday with senior guard Tadric Jackson returning. The senior came off the bench for the majority of last season, just starting five games last year. Despite coming off the bench, he averaged 23.8 minutes per game and 12.1 points per game. Jackson has improved over the course of his first three seasons, which should be good news for the Jackets going forward.
The Jackets are 16.5-point favorites over the Mean Green on Friday and respectively should be. While the Jackets offense can be bipolar, their defense has been one of the best in the country under Josh Pastner. A slow start wouldn’t be too surprising considering the tip-off time but the Jackets should take care of business rather easy on Friday afternoon.